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Music

My dad liked music and from my early childhood, I remember listening to music with him. When 33 1/3 rpm records came out, he bought them. Later when Stereo came out, he bought another speaker and upgraded his complete system to stereo. We also had reel to reel tape. Speakers were in the front room, and all the equipment was in a closet in the hall. Wires were run underneith our house. We also had a piano. Later he bought ALTEC 15" biflex speakers and exponential horns for the high end which were mounted in a custom enclosure. I went off to get a degree in electrical engineering. While at NIT, I joined the IEEE and AES. After receiving my BSEE, I went to BYU to get my masters in pysics because that is where acoustics was being taught. In my room were ALTEC 12" speakers and horns. But then I received my Viet-Nam draft notice and told I had 3 weeks to report. I went to downtown Provo and asked the Air Force Recuiter what he could do. He asked if I would like to be in the Air Force this week or next week. I said next week would be fine.

My first assignment was at Digital Communications Experimental Center, Rome Air Development Center at Griffiss AFB, N.Y. My job was to see how fast I could push data over a phone line. At the same time I learned how record, process and reproduce digial audio. In 1971 I attended a briefing on a future World-wide Network [APRA net] In 1973 RADC was one of the original 13 nodes of this network. After I left RADC, this network was then divided into Milnet and internet. My next assignment was in Narrow-band secure voice at NSA. There I programmed a fuctional software modem the worked over a standard phone line. There I also learned about heavy speech compression. Some of the techneques used were later used in the development of MP3.

Over the next 22 years I worked with several government contractors in the field of digital communications. At home I became active in recording audio, both speach and music. I used 7" reel to reel tape and cassette tape during this time. I bought myself an analog mixer with 8 micrphone channels and 4 high level inputs. I also bought an assortment of both dynamic microphones [for voide] and capacitor microphones [for instruments and choir]. When small analog to digital converters became available, I switched to digital recording, editing and copied the resulting files to CDs. First old tapes were converted to CDs, and then live digital recordings were editied and then copied to CDs. During this time all mixing was done live since the audio to digital conver I had was only 2-channel. All live recording was secondary to the main function of providing good sound [P.A.] to a large audience. This includes the Del Mar Christmas Concerts, a couple of weddings, a funeral and lectures on food and on politics. Mixing live without a rehersal is a challange. It is even more fun when you have two mixers hooked together to handle, a large adult choir, a children's choir, a small orchestra plus harp and electronic piano, bells, almost a dozen soloists and one narrator. But with good preparation, it usually does work out. Here is an example:

I Believe that was part of this hour and half long concert:

Full 2012 Christmas Concert


In 2013 the battery in my old M-audio recorder died and no replacement battery could be found. So in 2014 I bught a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 A/D and D/A converter that can record 8 microphone channels in high resolution at the same time. I also bought a new computer that can handle high speed USB data. I need to get ready for this year's Del Mar Stake Christmas Concert that will again have: Large Adult Choir, Children's Choir, Small Orchestra and almost a dozen soloists.

For those interested the is my web page on the physics of sound:
Physics of Sound

---Russ


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